Britain’s governing Conservative Party was all but wiped out in the European Parliament election as voters were sick of the country’s Stagnant European Union exit, came together to uncompromisingly pro-Brexit or pro-EU parties.
The main opposition Labour Party also faced a downfall in a vote that upended the traditional order of British politics and foeced the country into even more Brexit uncertainty. The big winners were the newly founded Brexit Party led by veteran anti-EU campaigner Nigel Farage and the strongly pro-European Liberal Democrats.
With results announced early Monday in England and Wales, the Brexit Party had won 28 of the 73 British EU seats securing almost a third of the votes. The Liberal Democrats took about 20 per cent of the vote and 15 seats.
Labour came third with 10 seats, followed by the Greens with seven. The ruling Conservatives were in fifth place with just three EU seats and under 10 per cnet of the vote.
Scotland and Northern Ireland are due to announce their results later.
Farage’s Brexit Party was one of several nationalist and populist parties making gains across the continent in an election that saw erosion of support for the traditionally dominant political parties.
Conservative foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said it was a “painful result” and warned there was an “existential risk to our party unless we now come together and get Brexit done”.
The favorites, including ex-Brexit secretary Dominic Raab and former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, have vowed to leave the EU on October 31 even if there is no deal in place.
Most businesses and economists think that would cause economic turmoil and plunge Britain into recession. But many Conservatives think embracing a no-deal Brexit may be the only way to win back voters from Farage’s party.
Labour was punished for a fence-sitting Brexit policy that saw the party dither over whether to support a new referendum that could halt Brexit. Labour foreign affairs spokeswoman Emily Thornberry said the party needed to adopt a clearer pro-EU stance.